The biggest Canadian pop star of the 1950s was Paul Anka – our first teen-idol. Not only was he a singer, he was also a composer – a rarity in the early rock’n’roll era. Unlike so many of his contemporaries, Paul not only survived, but thrived in the following decades as he easily moved from the pop charts to live club shows, then Las Vegas, while composing movie and TV themes, and a couple very famous signature songs for Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones. I’m putting together a 90 minute salute to Paul, featuring 19 of his songs including a couple from before his famous first hit ‘Diana’. Plus the rarely-heard original version of what became the ‘Tonight Show’ theme, Paul’s own version of the song he wrote for Buddy Holly, and his latest recording released just weeks ago.
During the show’s first hour – ‘This Week in Zoomer Music – I’ll take us back to that historic night in 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival when Bob Dylan plugged in and ‘shocked’ the folk fans with his new song ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, signalling a huge change in his sound. Plus the landmark UK television show ‘Top of the Pops’ which ended 15 years ago – I’ll reveal which artist was first to play the show and who was featured most often. It’s both Mick Jagger’s birthday coming up, as well as the anniversary of ‘SARSFest’ – the biggest concert in Canadian history – headlined by the Stones.
And in ‘The Story Behind the Song’, we’ll go back to the first #1 song on the first official Billboard music chart – it was Frank Sinatra’s first hit and it had a poignant connection to Toronto, composed by Ruth Lowe. I hope you’ll tune in for the next Vintage Favourites this Sunday (July 25th) from 2:00 to 4:30.